St Marys Ringette Association Bunny Program

The St Marys Ringette Association Bunny program is the first step in a player's ringette career with an emphasis on developing skating ability, introducing ringette skills and having fun. The Program provides an opportunity for players to meet new friends while gaining a firsthand experience in the game of ringette.

Our program is design for children that want to be there (will stand on their own and not cry).  Parents of all children are asked to assist on the ice until their child is able to participate independently (ie able to listen to the coach and follow instruction).

Although we accept children who are 3 at the start of the season, they MUST:

  • have a parent/guardian (with a helmet) on the ice with them at all times to help them follow instructions and participate in the activities;
  • be toilet trained; and
  •  be capable of, or able to work towards, participating for the entire 50min session. 

Our Bunny program consists of three levels:  

A. Learn to Skate

  • Basic Skating Skills: Basic stance, falling and getting up, edges, balance on skates, start, stop, walking all directions, forward/backward stride and glide
  • As children become more confident and capable of standing and moving on the ice un-aided, they will move into the Learn to Play (Intro) Group.

B. Learn to Play (Intro)

  • Basic Skating Skills (continued from Learn to Skate): Basic stance, falling and getting up, edges, balance on skates, start, stop, walking all directions, forward/backward stride and glide
  • Basic Ring Skills: Grip, carrying the ring, passing, receiving, checking, shooting - all within a controlled environment
  • This group will be part of the U7 (under age 7) team that will play some friendly matches with other local Associations. These ‘games’ are organized by the coaches and tend to be scheduled nearer December and into the second half of the season. It is an opportunity for the children to practice the skating and playing skills they have been developing.

C. Learn to Play (Advanced)

  • Basic Skating Skills (continued from Intro): Basic stance, falling and getting up, edges, balance on skates, start, stop, walking all directions, forward/backward stride and glide 
  • Basic Ring Skills (continued from Intro): Grip, carrying the ring, passing, receiving, checking, shooting - all within a controlled environment
  • Introduce Goalkeeping Skills: Introduce concept, basic grip, stance, stick on ice, using a goalie stick and equipment
  •  This group makes up the U8 (under age 8) team that will play officially scheduled games through-out the season culminating in the Regional tournament at the end of March.

Our coaching team continually assesses the skills and needs of each player to ensure they are in the right level and that they move to the next level when appropriate.

St Marys Ringette Association is operated entirely by volunteers. We count on volunteers to act as coaches, team managers, executives, fundraisers, and score/time keepers. Every parent should be prepared to volunteer their time throughout the year to help the team and the Association.

Other points to note:

  • The Bunny programs are scheduled for a minimum of one ice time per week, additional ice may be assigned/allocated depending on registration numbers, and game schedules of other divisions. 
  •  Players in both Learn to Play Level 1 and Level 2 participate in scrimmages with Bunny teams from other associations during the season. These games usually occur during the normal practice ice time but may also be scheduled on Saturday or Sundays. Travelling to other Associations will also be required.
  •  Full Ringette equipment is required and includes a mandatory CSA approved helmet with a proper Ringette facemask (hockey mask holes are too large and the end of a ringette stick may fit through) and a ringette stick (see rest of list below).
  • All on-ice volunteers are required to wear a CSA approved helmet as well.

Small Area Games : Updated March 1, 2019

In 2018 Ringette Canada communicated to all Provincial Ringette Associations that over the course of the coming seasons, a number of positive changes will be introduced starting with the phasing in of small-area games (cross-ice and half-ice Rngette) as the standard of play.   This format is similar to what has already been initiated and introduced by Hockey Canada in similar age groups, and for the same reasons, which include the following: 


·       Each player being able to spend more time with the ring, leading to improved ring control, passing and shooting skills.

·       More opportunities to apply practiced skills.

·       More opportunities to accelerate/decelerate and change directions reinforcing fundamental skating skills.

·       Smaller nets provide an appropriate challenge for skaters and goalies.

The timeline currently provided by Ringette Canada is to phase these changes in over a period of three seasons- Has now been put ON HOLD.  We are waiting for direction from Western Region Ringette Association on direction of this program.

        U8 players in 2019/20

·       U9 players in 2020/21

·       U10 players in 2021/22  

As these changes are phased in, Ringette Canada will be working with provincial ringette associations around other areas of activity, including support resources for coaches, and guidance on team formation and managing player progression.  


At this point not all details are available from the ORA on what exactly the program will look like, or the game format which will be followed, as they are still working on this.   We would expect that once the 2018-19 Season has closed we will start to see details become available.  We will do our best to communicate this information via our website, as we receive it.

We know there will be many questions/concerns about these changes. If you have questions please ask one of the Bunny coaches and we will do our best to answer.  We are still learning ourselves and ask for patience as we navigate this new program. 

If you would like to see examples of how the games may look, please visit





  • Helmet: CSA Approved. One of your most important purchases: only a CSA approved helmet is allowed and it must be sized at the time of purchase to fit properly. The chinstrap must always be fastened.
  • Facial protector (i.e. face mask): CSA Approved Type 5 or Type 6.
  • Elbow pads (the same type as used in Hockey): Must be properly fitted so that they do not slide. When fastened securely, there should be no gap between the pad and either the biceps extension of the shoulder pad or the cuff of the glove.
  • Gloves (the same type as used in Hockey): Check for proper fit, with good finger and hand mobility.
  • Hockey pants: with Hockey socks (or Ringette pants with ringette girdle)
  • Pelvic protection (“Jill Strap”): if wearing Hockey pants
  • Shin guards: Check for proper length so they protect the knee and shin completely: shin guards are best fitted while the player is sitting. Shin guards should be secured with proper shin guard straps.
  • Skates (the same type as used in Hockey): The other most important purchase: skates that will fit the player today, with no more than 1/2? allowed for growth. Ensure that there is adequate protection in the ankle, toe and instep areas. Improperly fitted skates will hamper the player’s ability to skate.
  • Shoulder pads/chest protector: Adjust to fit the individual at the time of purchase. Measure the player’s chest just below the armpits and match the player’s chest measurement to the shoulder pad size in inches.
  • BNQ Neck Guard: regular or with collar
  • Sweater: players should have one for practices
  • Ringette stick: Needs to fit just under arm when wearing skates

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